Last night I dreamt of Karnak again. I know, it’s terribly du Maurier, isn’t it? I’ve never even been to Egypt, much less stood between the grand pylons of the Middle Kingdom. All the same, it calls to me the way it does to so many people.
It’s undeniably romantic, but beyond that, all those scantly clad, beautiful antique people with their gods and their insane architecture and gold accessories just do something to the imagination. Which is why my next book, (tentatively titled) Another Man’s Queen takes place on the dunes of Ancient Thebes. It involves a neglected bride and very sexy Egyptian prince (in various states of undress) and by and large seems to be a big favorite amongst my beta readers.
Part of that is just because I love the setting so much that I really fell into describing it. Not just those easy-access kilts and bare chested collar-capes the pharaohs wore – though it certainly doesn’t hurt.
My current fix for all things ancient Egypt is the Amelia Peabody series by Elizabeth Peters. Now, this series doesn’t have any graphic sex scenes, but it certainly has a lot of tongue-in-cheek allusions to it. And the male lead, Radcliffe Emerson, is pretty delicious as a character. I can’t recommend it enough.
As far as actual romance and sex set in the ancient time period rather than on an archaeological dig, I haven’t had much luck. There are tons of books devoted to Cleopatra and a few more on the fringes about Nefertiti, but when I’ve picked them up, they’ve done very little for me. Certainly less than watching Oded Fehr gallop around the dunes in The Mummy or just straight up staring at Rami Malek in Night at the Museum.
And of course, Yul Brynner in The 10 Commandments. I could go on. The point is, it’s just an inherently sexy theme. If you agree, keep an eye out in the first week of July for the first installment in my Ancient Egypt trilogy. I can’t wait to hear what you think.